Maxtor's DiamondMax 10 hard drive

NCQ gets 16MB of cache

LIKE IT OR NOT, the latest hard drive technologies aren't nearly as flashy as those from the processor, graphics, or even chipset worlds. Hard drives occasionally get a spindle speed or cache size boost, but for the most part, they're only treated to expanding storage capacity—not that more storage capacity is a bad thing; it's just not that exciting.

Thankfully, Native Command Queuing (NCQ) brings a little spice to the otherwise drab world of desktop hard drives. NCQ intelligently re-orders I/O requests to minimize the performance penalty associated with a drive's rotational latency. That's not the sexiest sales pitch, but for PC enthusiasts, NCQ's potential performance benefits are certainly tantalizing.

Maxtor's first NCQ-enabled desktop drive is the DiamondMax 10. Available in capacities up to 300GB, the DiamondMax 10 comes equipped with as much as 16MB of cache and the promise of improved performance. Read on to see how command queuing affects the DiamondMax 10's performance and how the DiamondMax 10 stacks up against the competition.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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